I am away all next week in Bangkok where there is an international meeting of leprosy organizations, and then in China as part of my role as Ambassador to the Ethnic Community for a major leprosy care organization.
I was honored to receive an invitation from one of the Asia/Pacific organizations we partner with in China to visit them and to see their work. I will be taken to the rural areas where there are a number of villages which the government has set aside for those afflicted with the disease and in which the organization assist with rehabilitation.
the major needs of the various villages are in artificial limb supply and maintaining, psychological welfare, and stigma work with the afflicted and various non-leprosy affected local villages. Leprosy is very curable if treated early but a major problem has been stigma which prevents some afflicted from seeking help in time.
If the disease gets to the point of nerve damage the results are irreversible but much work is being done with surgical intervention by the leprosy associations teams doctors which can make a big difference to sufferers lives-I hope to be able to watch some of this reconstructive hand surgery especially.
I will have with me the head of my Chinese youth volunteers which will be useful for interaction and translation and I look to take many photographs to share on this site with those interested.